What is your favorite Vegas venue?
“The Library in Marquee. We had just started doing intimate private deep house parties right before the pandemic that were like nothing else, I’ve experienced in Vegas. I hope one day we can see it return.”
Last book you read?
“’Never Spit the Difference’ by Chris Voss. I always want to grow and learn.”
“Photography and videography. It’s a hobby of mine that’s been super helpful now managing artists as I’ve been able to direct and film all of our music videos.”
“I don’t really drink, but when I do I enjoy a classic old fashioned.”
Of all of the industries that have been profoundly affected by COVID-19, live entertainment, and those who curate, create and host it have been impacted the most. Once wildly lucrative and fulfilling, careers in this sector, especially in Las Vegas, quickly became expendable as clubs, bars and venues shuttered. Rather than lament in a sudden and forced retirement, the most resourceful talent found a new way to use their skills.
Pedram Niazmand is one such craftsman.
A Career Built on Doing Good
In early 2020, Pedram Niazmand was running seven venues for the TAO Group as the Head of Artist Relations—in charge of scheduling and programming live events for the clubs and also restaurants and lounges. Working in nightlife expands far beyond the boundaries of a typical day job or even a conventionally Vegas night shift, it’s all consuming.
“My day-to-day, was in the office organizing shows, scheduling talent, and working in collaboration with all departments – like marketing, accounting, operations, production, etc. During the weekends I was on-site for sound check, arrivals and during the shows. I also worked very closely with the casino operators. working with their VIP teams, F&B, operations, and revenue management,” Nizamand reflects. “This was not your typically 9-5, to say the least.”
He started his time with TAO working at Marquee Day Club and Nightclub, working his way up to curating residencies for the likes of Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Kaskade, DJ Mustard and many more. During his heyday he also worked with artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Jay-Z, Bruno Mars, Lizzo, Madonna and a veritable list of who’s who in the entertainment landscape.
Showcasing what lies “beyond the glittering lights of the strip” the video was filmed on location at Mt. Charleston and Nellis Sand Dunes.
Then the bottom fell out.
An Unwelcome Attendee and a Scene Change
Vegas was on top of the world, boasting record breaking tourism numbers, with every marquee and billboard adorned with some of the biggest names in entertainment. When the pandemic swept in and shut it all down, once thriving jobs in the industry were now thrust into the unknown. Nizamand’s prestigious title wasn’t spared.
“I had made it through several rounds of cuts and was able to program our TAO Group Relief Fund Live Stream through the relationships I had built in the industry. This was a huge success for us, and we were able to raise over $1 million from our efforts. However, I knew once it ended and there seemed to be no end in sight for when live music would return, I would likely be next to go. It was the obvious choice as far as saving overhead, so I totally understood why it had to happen. I’m always hopeful our paths will cross again in the future.”
Nizamand spent little time wallowing in the loss. Instead, he leveraged the many skills he gained during his career to seamlessly transition to a new and exciting personal endeavor.
“I started my own artist management company called PZLD Group. I currently have four artists signed to my company and growing. My most well-known artist is ASADI an eclectic multi-instrumental artist mixing traditional Persian sounds/instruments with modern day music. We’re releasing 26 songs this year. Each song has its own music video which we’ve shot in different locations all over Las Vegas. He has collaborations with Brockett Parsons (Lady Gaga’s Pianist), Adam Deitch (from Pretty Lights & Lettuce), Elley Duhe, Afta Hill, etc.”
He also found a way to reimagine live performances in a digital format. Virtual concerts like Cabin Fever Festival and Euphoria Festival engaged maligned live music fans. And he established partnerships with brands like Roland, Sensel, Bass Boss, Melodics and Red Bull to keep the music playing.”
His two worlds aligned perfectly, with ample overlap in the expectations and duties—alongside the opportunity to give back.
“With artist relations I typically worked with hundreds of artists within a calendar year creating residencies and shows for that specific artist, so it’s a collection of different genres. With management I get to work on my artist, promoting their music and sound,” he says. “With ASADI for example we’re trying to create a new style of music, something people have never heard or seen before. So, it’s really amazing to be a part of this journey of getting Persian culture out to the masses.
“I also have more control as a manager, being able to guide my artist full career, not just their shows. I work on creating new partnership to showcase my artist’s skill sets. For example: ASADI is a master of the midi-players (i.e., morph), we’re able to take this skill and work with brands like Melodics to create lessons for kids learning how to play. It’s really cool to think my artists could be influencing the youth of the music scene.”
Reflecting on the Past
His newfound passion wouldn’t have been possible without the years of practice he had working with the TAO Group. So, it’s no surprise that he does hold his past experiences and former colleagues in the highest regard.
“I learned much deeper knowledge about the industry working at TAO Group under Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg. I came from nightclubs and festivals. I learned the full ABC’s of high-end hospitality from these guys.
“I miss seeing live music each night and watching the crowds respond to our shows. It’s ultimately all about the experience and there is nothing like a Travis Scott night and the energy in that room. Or watching the entire audience sway to DJ Mustard, that energy is unlike anything else I’ve experienced.”
These memories won’t be stuck in the past for long.
Vegas’ Second Showing
The once strict rules regarding performances in Nevada were recently loosened, and many venues are attempting to open to meet the renewed demand as tourists return to the city. Nizamand has an optimistic outlook for live music’s triumphant return.
“Entertainment is the heartbeat of our city. When I think about some of the happiest moments of this pandemic, it’s when I was listening to music with my family, for example streaming my Drake Pandora station and watching live stream shows. People crave live music. The connection it brings is unparalleled. I’m confident the scene will return, and swiftly, however I do think there will be limitations at first to protect us all which I understand.
“There is nothing in the world like being somewhere like Life Is Beautiful and experiencing artists like Flume, Galantis, or Zhu live. Those shows are life changing experiences.”